Dr. Karladine Graves talks about the dangers of using unapproved medication to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the United States. The guest host for “The Steel Truth” on Brighteon.TV, Dr. Graves talked about the dangers of using remdesivir and vancomycin to treat COVID-19.

Remdesivir as an antiviral drug against COVID-19

Remdesivir was originally discovered as part of a program that develops antiviral agents with activity against emerging viruses. In the first months of COVID-19, it was tested as a potential therapeutic medication that was found to reduce recovery time for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

It was initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in October 2020 and is used as an antiviral treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remdesivir is administered intravenously and is usually used in hospitalized patients with severe or advanced cases of the disease.

However, there is not enough evidence of the benefits of using remdesivir as a form of intervention, which is why further studies are being conducted.

In clinical trials and case series, adverse effects such as acute kidney injury (AKI) and renal replacement have been linked to the use of remdesivir. Kidney injuries, including proximal tubular epithelial cell necrosis, have also been observed in animal studies during the drug’s development.

Based on real-life data from around 5,000 COVID-19 patients, it was found that kidney disorders, mostly AKI, that represent a serious and potentially fatal adverse drug reaction of remdesivir, and physicians are encouraged to perform close kidney monitoring when prescribing remdesivir as further data are needed to confirm its safety. 

Antibiotics for viral COVID-19 disease?

Another drug that Dr. Graves mentioned is vancomycin.

Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is used to treat severe infections that may be resistant to other antibiotics. It can also be used to treat serious infections for those who are allergic to penicillin.

Several antibiotics have been recommended for use in the management of COVID-19; however, this is worrisome because COVID-19 is a viral disease, and only a few patients would have a bacterial co-infection. A meta-analysis revealed that only 7 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have bacterial co-infection, implying that only few would need antibiotics for possible bacterial pneumonia and other co-infections.

The WHO advises against using antibiotic therapy for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 infections unless justifiable. However, many countries still recommend the use of antibiotics for the management of mild COVID-19.

The use of antibiotics is a risk factor in itself for the development of resistance to the medication. The WHO also warned against and indiscriminate use of antibiotics in the management of COVID-19 considering that it is an antiviral disease instead of a bacterial one.

Prescribing remdesivir and non-approved drugs

The WHO is clear and consistent about remdesivir: It is neither life-saving nor preventative of the clinical worsening of patients. The only possible role of remdesivir is in reducing the length of stay in a hospital. Dr. Aviral Vatsa of the National Health Services (NHS) Scotland cautioned that the drug is tried only in specific situations, and on a small minority of critical patients, which account for five to ten percent of total COVID-19 cases.

A study noted that renal function, hemodialysis, and ECMO usage were common in patients with COVID-19. In developing quantifiable vancomycin concentration, samples were tested and found to have a concentration beyond the expected range. Guided doses adjustments were necessary for 37.5 percent of the patients to lead to optimal concentration. However, patients were deemed cured with no vancomycin concentrations detected, alerting a potential systemic risk during the use of vancomycin. The study noted that randomized clinical trials are necessary to justify the findings and investigate the best strategy of therapeutic drug monitoring for these patients.

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